Top Attractions and Things to Do in Amasra, Turkey

Amasra View

Turkey has a great blend of bustling cities, fascinating ruins, sun-kissed beaches, colorful bazaars, fine-dining restaurants, and imposing mosques. It has many coastal towns, such as Antalya, Bodrum, Marmaris, Belek, and Fethiye, which are a big hit amongst tourists who want a relaxing beach vacation. One such underrated but beautiful beach destination is Amasra. Do you want to know what’s in store in this charming beach town? Keep reading!

About Amasra

Amasra is a small fishing town located in the Bartin province alongin the Black Sea coast of Turkey. It has become a sought-after destination in recent years due to its clean sandy beaches and scenic location. With a mere population of around 6,000 inhabitants, the town has a laid-back vibe. It is also a fantastic place for foodies as several cafes along the waterfront serve the most delicious seafood, salad, wine, and other local delicacies.

Amasra was formerly called Amastris, and the city was first known as Sesamus. It was part of the ancient region of Paphlagonia and was mentioned by Homer in the Iliad. It has two islands – the larger one is called Buyuk ada (Great Island), and the smaller one is called Tavsan adası (Rabbit Island).

Things to do in Amasra, Turkey

Amasra is a popular holiday destination for the people of Istanbul and Ankara due to its proximity to both cities. Though the town’s population is less, it can quickly become crowded with the residents of these neighboring cities wanting to spend a weekend in Amasra. Here are some exciting things to do in this small fishing town:

Amasra Castle

Amasra Castle was built during the Roman period, but the walls are from the Byzantine era. The Genoese built the gates and the front walls in the 14th and 15th centuries respectively. The castle is situated atop a promontory and overlooks the Boztepe and Zindan harbors. It is located on a narrow peninsula, and Dereağzı Tunnel that runs under the castle leads to a freshwater pool.

Amasra Archeological Museum

This museum showcases artifacts from its rich past related to both land and sea, dating more than 3,000 years. You can see gold and bronze items, jewelry, sculptures, pitchers, etc., from the Ottoman, Byzantine, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. One of the museum’s main attractions is the statue of Glykon, a god in the form of a snake from the Roman era.

Rabbit Island

Book a boat tour around Rabbit Island and enjoy the views of the breathtaking coastline and the bay from the waters. Several boats take visitors on tour from the marina and if you are lucky, you may spot a few dolphins during your tour.

Kemere Bridge

Kemere Bridge Turkey
Image Credit: www.flickr.com

Kemere Bridge is a 9th-century one-arch bridge that links Amasra’s mainland to the tiny Boztepe Island. It is a great pit stop to enjoy gorgeous views of Rabbit Island and the bay, and click some beautiful pictures. If you wish to visit or stay on Boztepe Island, you must cross this bridge.

Fatih Mosque

The Byzantines erected Fatih Mosque as a church in the 9th century AD. However, it was converted into a mosque during the conquest of Amasra by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1460.

Direkli Kaya

Direkli Kaya is an ancient lighthouse with an old marble swimming pool. It is believed that Persian Princess Amastris swam here. The lighthouse is 7 meters high and a great diving spot for tourists today. It is one of the most picturesque spots in the village, and the beauty of this place will bring out the photographer in you.

Watch a sunset

Watch a Sunset

 

There are many cliffs flanking Amasra that are best for witnessing the sun disappearing into the Black Sea. Few of these spots are just a short hike from the town center. Amasra’s natural harbor is a popular place for swimming and seeing the sunset.

Shop in the market

Amasra’s downtown area has a small street market called Çekiciler Carsisi, which is constantly buzzing with people. It is an excellent place to buy souvenirs such as homemade jams, fresh fruits, handcrafted wooden items, clothes, and other trinkets to carry for friends and family. The prices are affordable, and the vendors are very friendly and welcoming.

Laze on the beaches

Büyük Liman, Amasra Çakraz Beach, Bozköy Beach, Göçkün Beach, and Küçük Liman are some of the famous beaches in the town, and perfect spots to take a dip, build sandcastles, laze around, or enjoy some tranquil moments with nature.

Sample local food

Local Seafood in Amasra

Amasra has many waterfront restaurants serving delectable local food, especially fresh fish. Most tourists come here to relish seafood while feasting their eyes on gorgeous views of the coast. If you don’t eat seafood, you can still enjoy the views with a drink and some appetizers.

When to visit Amasra?

Amasra Town in Turkey

Here is a breakdown of the different seasons and the best time to visit Amasra.

  • Summer is between June to early September when the weather is ideal for hitting the Amasra’s beaches, but it is also slightly crowded.
  • Fall is between September last week and November when the weather is pleasant, but it may be slightly wet and gloomy in November. This is not a popular time to visit Amasra and you can expect fewer crowds during this season.
  • Winter is from December to February, and the weather is cold and damp, and not a great season to visit this place.
  • Spring is from March to May when the weather is cool. The temperature increases again in April and May; you can expect more crowds as it is the perfect time to cool down at the beaches.

How to Reach?

Due to Amasra’s small size, traveling there from within Turkey could be a bit more complicated than the normal intercity journey. If going by bus, you will probably have to go first to the nearby capital, Bartin, and then make your way into the city center from the bus station. You can get a minibus (dolmuş) from Bartin’s center to Amasra’s little bus station. During the busy summer tourist season, there may be direct buses from Istanbul and Ankara to Amasra in Turkey. There are plenty of things to do in Ankara as well, so do give it a try if you wish to.

Where to Stay?

Amasra has become very popular with tourists, as there are ample interesting things to do in Amasra, Turkey. As a result, there are plenty of accommodation options available. The most common types are apartments and bed-and-breakfast-style hotels, known as ‘pansiyon’. As Amasra is so easy to get around on foot, the different areas of town do not vary much. However, the bay views are somewhat more attractive than the marina views.

For accommodation, consider the Old Town (Kuşkaya Mahallesi), the Harbor Area, Çekiciler Street, and Kapıdağ Peninsula. The old town offers proximity to historical sites, restaurants, and the waterfront, while the Harbor Area offers captivating sea views and easy access to boat tours and activities. Çekiciler Street is known for its lively atmosphere with shops, cafes, and restaurants, while Kapıdağ Peninsula offers a quieter, more natural setting.

Top Tip: Use online booking platforms to find diverse accommodations that suit your preferences and budget, and check for ratings and the latest reviews to ensure your expectations are met and you make the most of the tourist spots in Turkey.

FAQs

Q1. Which is the most suitable time to tour Amasra?

Amasra is best toured in the summer months, from June to September, when the climate is just right and the beaches remain full swing. For a serene experience, visitors can tour in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn, even though the climate may be a little cooler during these times.

Q2. Does Amasra serve good food?

Amasra is a food buff’s paradise, offering traditional Turkish dishes, fresh seafood, and international cuisine. The local restaurants serve luscious flavors from the Black Sea region, and the famed anchovies, making it a must-visit destination.

Q3. What is the finest means to reach Amasra?

The simplest means of getting to Amasra is via bus or a car from Ankara or Istanbul. Also, you may opt for air travel to nearby airports in Bartin or Zonguldak and then go by a bus or cab to Amasra.

Q4. What are a few must-try things in Amasra?

You should try activities like surveying the historic town center, fishing, hiking in nearby mountains, and swimming at beaches.

Q5. In Amasra, what are some must-see sights?

Some of Amasra’s must-see sights comprise Boztepe Island, Kemer Bridge, and the Amasra Castle.

Conclusion

Amasra is a pretty village with a glorious past and a rich cultural heritage, and it is worth applying for your Turkey visit visa. It is around a 6-hour drive from Istanbul and approximately 4 hours from Ankara. You can easily plan a day trip here from any of these places. While cities like Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Antalya have always beckoned visitors with their numerous attractions, why not visit this unexplored but lovely place on your next trip to Turkey?

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